Being a Mastermind winner might not now lead to the media interest it did in days gone by, but it can still lead to some wonderful experiences.
Case in point. After the Grand Final had been filmed I emailed the London Bridge Museum and Educational Trust to let them know that I had done the subject in the final, wondering if they could possibly make any use of it publicity wise when the final was actually shown. Well, we maintained our correspondence, and after the final was shown I was asked if I would be prepared to act as a resident 'expert' ( their words, not mine ) and answer queries by email from members of the public, and visitors to the website. This is something that has given me a lot of pleasure in the 12 months or so that I have been doing it.
Those who know about the history of London Bridge will be aware that 2009 is actually the 800th anniversary of the completion of the first stone London Bridge, which lasted 622 years until it was finally demolished. Through my work for the London Bridge Museum and Educational Trust I was invited as a guest, on Friday 24th April, to attend a Gala Luncheon for members of the Bridge Ward Club, hosted in Fishmonger's Hall, to celebrate the 800th Anniversary in the presence of The Lord Mayor of London ( that's the Lord Mayor - not Boris Johnson ) .
What an occasion ! We waited at the top of the grand staircase, and then our names were announced in turn to the assembled guests as we entered . I checked the seating plan to find that I had been placed on the top table , no less, right next to the Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. To say I felt a little daunted would be an understatement, but he was so charming and put me right at my ease, and I rather think we hit it off. Then, to cap it all, after coffee he invited me into the court room, where many fine paintings of the Bridge were on display. Just as we were about to leave there was a knock on the door, and one of the Company officials announced that Mr. Fox would like to say goodbye . The next thing I knew, in walked none other than Edward Fox, the celebrated actor !
It was just that kind of day. Each successive stage of the experience was so fantastic, and so far removed from my previous experience that I wouldn't have been surprised if Prince Phillip had turned up ( he is a past Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers himself ) and had invited us all back for gin and tonics at Buck House, and then we'd pop in the royal train off to Sandringham to go shoot things !
In case you're wondering, he didn't - but that made no difference. All in all it was just a wonderful, wonderful day, and I can't say that I would possibly ever have been involved in it if it weren't for Mastermind.